Going wild

Aspiring young survivalists keen to emulate television's Ray Mears, pictured, will be able to test their outdoor skills, thanks to a grant of pound;57,200 from Scottish Natural Heritage.

The grant will allow young people and youth workers to work with the Moray-based Wild Things environmental charity, which runs wilderness skills residential trips in the area. Wild Things works across the Highlands and north-east to encourage children to learn about, and interact with, the environment, including projects with teenagers who may find mainstream education difficult. Jennie Martin, director, said: "In all our programmes our work complements the national curriculum by lifting the written material off the page. Our participants step through the TV screen to be in the picture, rather than passively watching it."

Rosemary McGhee, depute head at Lossiemouth High, said the experience had been "brilliant" for a group of S2 boys with learning and behavioural difficulties, who can now talk about their experience with adults and peers.

Linda Johnston, a support for learning teacher at Charleston Academy, said she had gained a fresh understanding of children with Asperger's syndrome from observing them in a different setting.

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